Annual Conference Updates:
▪ The deadline for submissions to be included in the Book of Handouts is Friday, May 15. All submissions must be sent electronically to the Conference Secretary’s office, Shannon Medlin.
▪ The Hampton Inn will be open for Annual Conference this year. In fact, the NC Conference will be the first guests of the hotel. This brand new property is located to the right of the Greenville Convention Center if facing the GCC from Greenville Blvd. Jennifer Haskell, General Manager, has graciously agreed to take reservations via her cellphone. Her number is 252-341-7857. She is asking that folks be patient with her if they get voice mail. After May 5, the land line phone will be available to make reservations. That number will be 252-355-7400. The rate is $99.00 plus tax and includes breakfast. If you have any questions, e-mail Shannon Medlin at Shannon Medlin.
▪ Members of Annual Conference needing day care for their children can access the registration form at daycare form. Care is available for toddlers up to children having completed fourth grade.
Information about swine flu and related resources
Seeking information about what is swine flu, how to take precautions and what is the role of faith based groups in a pandemic? Responses to these questions and others are available on following link managed by the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Planning for Pandemic Influenza
Clergy breakfasts on immigration
The NC Council of Churches is sponsoring a statewide series of clergy breakfasts on immigration. The first round will be in Greenville (May 19), Durham (May 21), and Winston-Salem (May 27). The breakfasts will give local clergy the opportunity to learn more about immigration issues in the U.S. The focus will be on providing attendees with valuable information and resources for use in congregations. There is no cost but RSVP’s are required.
Click on the following for details and to RSVP: immigration breakfast.
Conference UMM golf tournament to benefit MERCI
The NC Conference United Methodist Men announce a Golf Tournament to benefit MERCI, May 14 at Lane Tree Country Club, Goldsboro. Register by noon for the 1 p.m. shotgun start. The Tournament is open for four-person Superball (Captain’s Choice) teams. The cost is $65 per person or $260 per team, which includes a barbeque meal and prizes. Registration is made through MERCI, 888-440-9167.
Transform, Rejoice, Experience & Know God – free VBS project goes “Green”
Each day during Vacation Bible School, students are “sent” on an adventure with the Society of St. Andrew’s new VBS mission project, “TREK.” The adventures put them on the front line of learning the importance of eating healthy, sharing with others, and using their hands to help God’s hungry children.
“TREK Mission Adventure” is offered at no cost by the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), Advance #801600 and Resolution #4093 of the United Methodist Church. It is designed to supplement VBS programs and can be easily adapted to any VBS theme.
This year’s program features daily “Go Green” facts with such information as how much it costs to dispose of food waste. Daily activity sheets for all ages contain short scripturally-based stories, facts about hunger and SoSA’s hunger-relief ministry, potato trivia, and pencil activities.
Materials are free and available now. Order a sample kit today. There is no obligation. Call Rev. Jennifer Vestal Moore at the Society of St. Andrew, 800-333-4597; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or order online at End Hunger.
Spaces are available for the Older Adult Day Apart
Do you know everything you need to know about end of life legal issues? How to monitor your own health? How to rely on prayer in difficult times? What are the best nutritional practices? Help with coping skills when a loved one is dying or you find yourself single? How to find real joy in grandparenting? Workshops on these areas and more will be offered at a day apart for Older Adults and those who work with Older Adult Ministries to be held at St. James UMC in Greenville, May 13 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The day will include workshops, displays, time for networking at lunch, and a closing worship service led by Bishop Gwinn. Spaces are still available. Call Robin Harry at 800-849-4433, ext. 252 for registration information.
Peace with Justice Sunday is June 7
Peace with Justice Sunday, one of the six United Methodist churchwide Special Sundays, witnesses to God’s demand for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world. Established by the 1988 General Conference, Peace with Justice Sunday supports programs that advocate peace and justice at home and around the world. It will be observed on June 7 this year. For bulletin resources, children’s sermon, talking points, and more information, please see Peace with Justice Sunday.
Scholarship Deadline for FOCUS
The deadline to apply for a scholarship to attend FOCUS – the quadrennial conference for those involved in children’s ministry – is May 1. A limited number of scholarships in the amount of $150 are still available. To obtain the application for the scholarship, e-mail Sue Ellen Nicholson at Sue Ellen Nicholson. FOCUS will be July 21-24 in Indianapolis, IN. The website for more information and registration is FOCUS2009. Five people from the NC Conference will be workshop presenters.
Key Taylor Award nominations
Rural church nominations for consideration of the Key Taylor Award are needed by May 15. Congregations can nominate themselves. For 2009, $1145 will be awarded. The award, sponsored through the United Methodist Foundation, is to call attention to the mission work of all rural churches by honoring the specific achievements of one rural church. To nominate a church, respond via email in narrative form on one page to the criteria below by May 15 to Kathy Reavis at the Office of Mission and Justice Ministries. Include the names of the church and district.
1) The church is in a community of less than 1,500 people.
2) The church has 250 members or less.
3) The church is significantly involved in community mission.
4) The church shows faithfulness in its stewardship of the mission and service commitments (apportionments) and supports Advance Specials.
5) The church displays commitment towards growth in ministry and perseverance toward accomplishing their vision of ministry.
Children’s ZOE Mission Moments
Designed as a daily VBS mission supplement, the ZOE VBS material consists of five sessions lasting five minutes each. It features pictures and videos of children in our ZOE Ministry programs and enables children here in the United States to share their love and resources with children in Africa. Go to Zoe Ministry and click on the VBS icon in the upper right corner. Download what you need and sign up to receive our Mission Moment Videos.
“Theology of the Body” Seminar in May
A seminar for clergy and laity, Theology of the Body: An Ecumenical Introduction, is planned on theological issues related to human sexuality, marriage, and human dignity. “Theology of the Body” is a book by John Paul II, which is composed of 130 his addresses. Dr. Paul J. Griffiths, the Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School, will provide the seminar’s presentations in New Bern, NC on May 21 (Thursday) from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. For a registration form, go to Theology of Body brochure or call 252-726-2175. This event is sponsored by the New Bern (NC) District of The United Methodist Church, Lifewatch, and Transforming Congregations.
Application Openings for Burning Bush
Burning Bush, offered through GBOD’s Discipleship University, is a two-year experience for congregations to focus on developing an intentional process for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The first group of congregations enrolled in Burning Bush recently completed their second session. In the redesigned format of Burning Bush, the curriculum is comprised of five multi-day experiences, the first and fifth experiences will be held in Nashville at the General Board of Discipleship. The middle three sessions will be conducted at each of the participating congregations and facilitated by GBOD congregational guides assigned to congregational teams. Participation in Burning Bush is open to congregations of any size. New learning groups begin approximately every six months. The next learning group (Burning Bush 2) begins on August 27-30 in Nashville. Registration is $125.00 per person per session, plus travel, lodging, and some meal expenses. Congregations that are ready to be intentional about Christian discipleship can find additional information and apply for participation in Burning Bush at Burning Bush or by calling 877-899-2780, ext. 1760.